Dollars & Sense

Kevin Rutherford

Use your head: Don’t shut down Oct. 11-13

| October 07, 2013

It has come to my attention that there is a growing movement online and through Facebook to organize truckers for some sort of a national shutdown and protest the weekend of October 11th-13th. I’ve been asked by listeners of my radio show and members of my websites to address this issue and offer my opinions, so here goes.

Let me be very clear about this event — I am completely and totally against this idea for so many reasons, and here is a list of why I think all truck drivers and small business owner-operators need to stay away from this group and their radical ideas.

Take just a moment and step back from your anger and frustration with the government and the current state of our political system. Think through this issue logically instead of emotionally and you will see that this can only end badly for the trucking industry and the country in general. 

1) Shutting down roads and highways is dangerous and illegal, and can lead to very dire consequences. The trucking industry prides itself on the fact that the country would stop without us. That’s a true statement. Now think for just a minute on what kinds of things could happen around major cities with massive roadblocks caused by trucks. Emergency vehicles will not be able to get through, people could die because of this one consequence alone, do you want that on your conscience? Road rage incidents will flare up everywhere and can only lead to violence. The general public will not see the industry as heroes, but as angry thugs. 

2) The protest has been planned for a weekend when the legislators and Obama are not scheduled to be in town, and it is a hefty fine for being inside the beltway and clogging highways. The resulting traffic jam does nothing in getting legislators’ attention to trucking issues. So this grassroots-planned event will be staged when no one is in town to hear them, and when it’s over, there will be lots of tickets to pay. It simply makes the trucking industry and drivers look foolish and uninformed.  

3) Drivers are being urged to shut down roads not only in Washington, D.C., but all over the country. The general public will not understand what is happening and will not look kindly on the danger and havoc reaped upon their roadways. 

4) Shippers and receivers not getting their products will have their entire business jeopardized and will not hesitate to move their freight by other means. 

Related– Wendy Parker: “Attaching a bunch of stuff to a trucking cause that has nothing to do with trucking is the same thing the government does when they attach pork to a bill.”

5) Groups that already oppose the trucking industry will jump on the chance to vilify the industry even more and call for more and stricter regulations.

6) This effort and protest is being organized and led by two people who have no connection to the trucking industry, and they are using the drivers to further their own radical agenda. They have even misled drivers into believing that they have been truck drivers. There is no real leadership — and no clear agenda.

7) I have found conversations on their Facebook page about urging company drivers to intentionally damage their company-owned trucks so that they can participate in the shutdown. I have also found similar conversations recommending that they park trucks at fuel pumps and service bays before disabling them in order to shut down services. This goes way beyond a government protest and is going to disrupt and hurt the private business we rely on to conduct our own business.

8) I read through a list of demands published by this group on both Facebook and their own website. The list was all over the place and had huge flaws in logic. The group claims to want less government regulation and a more constitutional government, yet the first two demands had to do with minimum wage for drivers and minimum rates for the trucking industry. This is anti-free market and requires huge amounts of government intrusion and regulation on the industry. You can’t have it both ways. When I interviewed the two organizers of the event, they refused to talk about those points and then later that day removed them from their websites. It’s too late, we know what their true agenda is.

Poll: Will you participate in the “Ride for the Constitution?”

9) They are now asking for donations so that they can provide fuel money for owner-operators who can’t afford the fuel to drive to Washington, D.C., and participate. This is outrageous and may even be a scam to get your money. Do you really want to be represented by owner-operators who can’t afford fuel for one trip? Is this the group you want to be associated with?

10) The group claims to want input from the trucking community but immediately deletes any comments not agreeing with any part of their agenda. 

11) This ill-conceived action punishes and endangers the general public and businesses we rely on and does nothing to the politicians we need to reach.

Please take some time to read and think through this issue. If you agree with me let’s make our voices heard. Let’s make sure that the public knows there are members of the trucking industry that are informed and are a part of the political process and are not anarchist thugs.


Overdrive Dollars & Sense columnist Kevin Rutherford is hosting a special episode podcast Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. to “have a true open discussion about” the issue, he said in an email promoting the podcast. To participate, call (347) 884-8327; 250 lines will be available. Click here to listen online when the episode airs.

  • Rey Moreno

    Thanks, we agree, but the results just arent prompt enough. Beside Congress has enogh to do right now. Oh FORGOT, THERE ON STRIKE TOO.

  • jrhix

    None. No one participated and the ones who did are still heroes of mine. Dad used to say, “the american truckdriver. The greatest labor force that never was.”

  • g

    Yep this guy is a JB HUNT dispatcher for sure…we KNOW he is a DESK JOCKEY….where does HE get off FEELING OUR PAIN??? He should stick to something he KNOWS about from REAL experience…lol

  • jrhix

    Take a lesson from the late great James Hoffa Sr. If you don’t stand together, then you might as well lay in the wallor of poverty together.” He also said,”the only difference between them and us is they got the badges and they want the working man to make as little as possible.”

  • godfearingrebel

    Mr. Kevin.
    I have always enjoyed your arcticals and have been impressed with your common scence aproach. While i cant support the murky and un-truck related agenda in this particular shuttdown i have to disagree with you on bowing to pressure against shuttdowns. I believe we need to walk away from this one but i will fully support a well lead, foccused ‘strike’ if lead by truckers. WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?? Im open to ideas but what else would work? Unless you still drive can you really offer us any other sollution? I for one would listen to anything at least once but i WILL say that we need to do something.

  • g

    10-4..Gov shills and cheerleaders for the Rich will be trying to persuade people NOT to take part because it will take money from the RICH if we get any concessions. Their is 4 of them on here trying to Shill for their Rich Daddies

  • Rey Moreno

    HERE WE GO AGAIN. The know it all attorny is here. court adjourned. case closed. our brilliant council has spoken. Listen up brain boy! We are permitted by the federal government as “for-hire” carriers. Which means we Have the right TO REFUSE SERVICE TO ANYONE FOR ANY REASON! So go constrain yourself to the porn you were probably reading before u got here by clicking twice on the back button.

  • Rey Moreno

    that was funny

  • Laura Roberts Clayton

    David and Shawn you both are right. My husband, and brothers and the the rest of our trucks will be running as scheduled. Stay safe!

  • g

    Funny…the guy is a hate filled

  • Keith W.

    Kevin,Either you’ve been out of trucking for too log, or you’ve been drinking the Koolaid.
    Enough is enough! something has to be done. If your so smart , then why don’t you come up with a plan that actually help’s the trucking industry.

  • Rey Moreno

    your right. thanks G

  • Sig Sauer

    Nothing but respect for the job y’all truckers do. No one is going to stand up for you if you don’t stand up for yourselves. The Political Class has forgotten about pretty much all of us. Make your voices heard. Make it loud. Make it happen.

  • guest

    Yep..something..and NOW. THIS is the TIME…we need to raise our OBJECTIONS TODAY…not Next Week or Month…it is ON!!!! make our VOICE known and maybe the NEXT shut down will be More “perfect”……Every Month until they understand we are NOT their step children to ABUSE.

  • Bee

    If you don’t stand for something you don’t stand for nothing

  • pissed off Cliff

    If congress can treat us like crap and they get away with murder. it seems the civilized way just dont work in this country they want to take all our rights away as citizens and truck drivers ain that heading towards communisi

  • MercenaryMan

    Im afraid the anger is going to win the day on this one Kevin, I am in agreement with you theres better ways to do it, what will all these guys do when they get to there destinations, is there a destination, a rallying spot, no one will be in control so it will be random groups of drivers, truckers blocking traffic and causing anger and the Image of truckers will go straight into the toilet. Yes we need change, Yes we need to organize, but we also need to realize a truckers strike isnt going to change whose President, Impeach or change his way of Governing….Many dont like who or what he is, VOTE HIM OUT OF OFFICE…Then start with Congress and elect men and women who represent US not LOBBYS, We can block traffic and honk our horns and wave our flags and show we are Proud of who we are…BUT if we do this wrong, its gonna backfire, make us all look bad, and OUR reputations will suffer for it, especially O/Os….

    God Bless men and women who fight for whats right, Im just worried that these organizers of this dont have OUR collective best interests in mind….Frankly Kevin speaks from the heart and has the best interests of truckers in his heart, he wouldnt be trying to save us money daily with issues, hes far more attached to this industry then some former country singer and someone attached to Alex Jones and the Conspiracy theory wackos….

    Just remember your actions will be the reason for the reaction….and when the President, Congress and most of Gov are shutdown, whose gonna be paying attention…the people in cars facing huge traffic backups who cant buy grocerys etc….I pray no one is injured or worse, Anger and Road rage on both sides will be an issue….Please be safe Brothers/Sisters….

    Excersize your rights, make your voices heard, and VOTE.

  • Rey Moreno

    right now, piggybacking on this monster is all we have! id like something else too but im sick of doing nothing.

  • g

    Totally Agree!!!!

  • Porter M. Corn

    I wouldn’t pay to much attention to “g” and “guest”. They’re pathetic little trolls getting their jollies writing their crap opposing anyone who has a logical common sense comment.

    Good article Kevin.

  • g

    Oh here he comes again…going to Promote illegal alien truck drivers again tonight……Yoou are the trll and shill for the Rich. You must work at ATA..always support the OPPOSITE of what truckers everywhere NEED.
    Shut Down Oct 11-13…Join the Convoy. Not yer “cup of tea” is it Mr. “CORN”? headed to the La Raza Rally???

  • Kurt

    I have to agree with the truckers, as a ex trucker due to heath issues and having family that have driven for years, sadly my wages, pay per mile was the same as my uncle made 20 years ago, although the cost of running and just doing the job has gone up drasticaly.

    Truckers have a true complaint, everyone has raised prices, except their pay has stayed about the same.
    Honestly if you do the research, a o/o or even a company driver could have made more 20 years ago than they can now, its bad enough you give up your home life, get to see your kids once a month if you are lucky, out there in all forms of weather to try to provide better life for your family, and at the end of the day, you can make about the same at a local job.
    I remember the mess back in the 70’s and 80s and hate to think about the problems a shut down could cause, but its time people suck it up and prepare, because the truckers need a platform so they can get some things fixed. Its for sure our govt is not going to do a thing unless forced.

    And if the truckers dont get the point across to the govt that we are fed up with the BS crap going on, and all the regulations, taxes and fines, and obunghole care (Which is going to destroy the medical field and leave many families broke.) Then i say we send in the III % and finish the job. Take Notice Govt.

  • fed up

    Let me just say this, as a small o/o company we are tired of getting crappy ass rates to take your heavy ass loads for less than what it takes to move this rig down the road. They tell you it is a “light load” then you find out its actually putting you at your max weight and straining your truck. Who do you think will pay for those repairs when the shipper refuses to take the product off your trailer or they wanna fine you even more money. We personally have been forced to live load to load and shippers and receivers know it. So they know o/o and small companies out there have no choice but to make a lousy $50 on a load that should have paid $1500.00 and after fuel and expenses should pay $500 on the low end for your business not $50!! we can not afford to drive to dc or wherever they want us to because in order to move down the road we have been forced to take fuel advances from every broker. So we are going to take this weekend off and catch up on some of our other things we need to take care of. I am not sure how this shut down of truckers is going to help but as a strapped company we will do our part to stay off the roads.

  • David Obermark

    I do not have a dispatcher, perhaps you failed to read the part that says I operate under my own authority; or perhaps you do not know enough about trucking to understand what that means.

    I sympathize with some of the trucking issues being put forth, but if I were to shut down, that means I support the extremist political agenda as well. Well, I do not and I will KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ over the weekend.

  • Rey Moreno

    Yea!!! Does your mommy know your on the internet right now??

  • Sed

    What a joke,think about the driver it needs to change

  • guest

    I would guess you live local and have a little Milk Run…with yer little 1 truck fleet and are quite Comfy with the way things are???

  • Daniel Kupke

    Kevin listen to this guy he is hitting the nail right on the head !!! We have got to do some-thing !! Get some-thing done together just to show we can !! This going through the proper channels doesn’t work n doesn’t happen ?? Things just go on day after day n nothing changes n no-one does anything ect ect ?? Then the Feds come alone every other month thinking up new things for us to be subjected to ?? I”M TIRED OF IT KEVIN !! I WILL SUPPORT THIS and I’ve been out here on the road since 79 so I do know a lil about it !!

  • ilovdieselsmoke

    OK, check out maybe the truckers who haul the ocean containers have the right idea they also make a point or two on a few more of the issues that effect us all on a daily basis. they are calling for shutting down the seaports for a solid week. NO, not just some three day weekend traffic tie-up. those boys are calling their action (Pier Pressure) maybe we should take some notes here or better yet join in with them for the ride? stopping the ocean shipping freight to all the giant retailers while they are right smack in the middle of their holiday peak season freight rush makes more sense to me than shutting down a few highways or burning up fuel to drive to the capital for a warm & fuzzy feel good press conference with a couple of Congressional staff members. if these can jockeys succeed in holding up a couple dozen multimillion dollar container ships while disrupting the marine commerce it will get a HELL of lot more attention than another traffic jam on the DC beltway! it’ll also get the ear of a lot more lawmakers as they watch their wall street stock take a dive! Stop the ocean freight dead going into those massive cargo distribution centers for a week and you will see the legislators come to meet with truckers! no need to drive to see them.

  • Fedup

    If you’re gonna shut down do it for at least a week or more. Don’t block roads and bridges, just park your trucks. Don’t go to D.C. or any other big cities. Let em run out of gas, diesel, and food. Let the tourists and weekend warriors go about their merry way and maybe they will wake up when there is no food, gas or diesel. I know it sounds mean and cruel but that’s how I feel.

  • Flintstone

    Rutherford the Con Man/Snake Oil salesman is against this because he is not getting paid to support it.

  • David Obermark

    You’re right about the little 1 truck fleet. I own 1 truck and I drive it under my own authority. The rest of your guess is wrong.

    Did you miss where I said I was sympathetic to some of the trucking issues but that I will KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ because of the political objectives being pushed?


    I’m sorry


    HOW IS
    John Gult

  • MileHiMoose

    After reading all the ” Comments “, the only one that made any sense, was a quote.

    Take a lesson from the late great James Hoffa Sr. If you don’t stand together, then you might as well lay in the wallor of poverty together.” He also said,”the only difference between them and us is they got the badges and they want the working man to make as little as possible.”
    That is what happens when you do nothing. ” If your a company driver now, the people before you were abused, used up, spit out and thrown away “.
    That’s for those who are too young to know !

  • chazz

    I was part of the shut down in the 70’s and everyone in the U.S. respected the American Trucker because of the shut down, movies were made like Convoy and many other’s because of the shut down, today, there is no respect for the Trucker, why? because they are wimpy sissy’s, they have no backbone, they are not real men, they are the most absolute disgusting bunch of worthless humans I have ever seen, if you want to see what a real MAN is, look at the drivers of the 70’s, they shut this country down and had the leaders eating out of there hand in less than 2 weeks, mean while you bunch of worthless drivers let the government continue to shit on you.

  • David Obermark

    OK, let’s stand together on trucking issues then. But I am a Blue Dog Democrat and I am forced to keep rolling to counter the extreme right wing political agenda.

    I am aghast that some of you will point to Jimmy Hoffa as if he would have supported your politics.

  • guest

    We have to do something NOW…even our truckers have 100 opposing views on issues regarding trucking and many inolved have Political beefs…..Welcome to AMERICA. We are GOING to DC and we are going to Shut Down our Trucks Nationwide….if we waited for the “perfect time” when all arrows were pointed the same direction we would Never be HEARD. This is a beginning….next time YOU can lead the way and not a WORD about politics will be spoken ok??

  • MileHiMoose

    For years and years, all every truck driver ever wanted to do was be thier Own Boss. That’s right, ” An Owner Operator ” . Now they have you convinced you can not make it, they have forced things on you so you can not make it. That’s the way it use to be, and ” That Was The All American Truck Driver Dream “. So you could work, have a real nice truck, make money, have a family, a life, a wife, a house, spend time at home, and kids. Now your lucky to be a live and your making the same or half as much as you should be making in twice the amount of time. Your being regulated by Politicians and 4.wheelers, may be the issue.. Good Luck and God Bless !
    If you think I do not know whats going on and what has gone on. You drive about 2.25 Million to 3 Million Miles and then you can tell me what you think, and I will listen to you !!

  • David Obermark

    The political agenda that is being pushed with this shutdown stands 180 out from what the strike in the 70’s was trying to achieve. Jimmy Hoffa would have been driving a truck himself to show he was against the political objectives of this shutdown attempt.

  • Mind Games

    Kevin not to do a classic attack the messenger on ya BUT all you do is sit on your fat rear end and talk on the radio and get paid go home to wife and or kids and have home time with them while the rest of us suffer in silence.
    You OOIDA and the other talking heads have been getting our money and have delivered little in return thus you and people like you and your ilk are a huge yet legal scam that has been played out since the 70’s and thus we as drivers will need to take a stand if not on the date these guys are calling for another and another till one day we truly succeed.
    As we say in the hood “Talk is cheap M-F!!!” And it has been a long 30+ years of talk and more talk while we as drivers have been treated like the American negro back in the 50’s mind you we don’t get hung from trees but we do get hung in courts across America and if not in courtrooms we are hung behind closed doors in meetings among CEO’s of large trucking and companies government officials behind our backs and we will not take it anymore!!!!

  • David Obermark

    You got me there on the mileage. I am only closing in on 2 million myself in a truck. But I also am retired Navy. I am proud of my service, but that service prevented me from accumulating the miles behind a truck as quickly as you.

    Now, if you want to just compare miles traveled? Good gosh, I couldn’t even begin to estimate all of them.

    If we want a trucker shut down, we need to stick to trucking issues and leave the politics other then that out of it. Once you introduce the politics, too many people are going to ignore our issues and concentrate on the political portions and quite frankly YOU GUYS are in minority on them.

    I am a truck driver and I intend to KEEP ON TRUCKIN”.

  • David Obermark

    I’m not shutting down. What you are going to end up with is a few trucks going to DC and the rest of us are going to keep rolling.

    My guess you are going to end up embarrassed by how few trucks you even get in your convoys. But oh no, don’t blame it on yourself and your messaging. Don’t blame it on that you included political extremist positions that motivated many of us to keep rolling even if we really wanted to spend the weekend at home.

  • Rey Moreno

    Ok great! Your the oldest so your the self proclaimed wise man. So wheres the answers old timer. How about you get off the fat ass of yours thats sitting on that vault of brilliant information. Get up or shut up! I wanna here it and so does everyone else. Or you justmore of the same old Johnny-come-lately “my brothers, cousins, friends roomate, has 20 million miles and he said your dumb” kind-of guy. You got the answers Jack then speek up……………

  • Vaudreyvil

    It is not going to be the transports who will shut down or demonstrate on the Beltway. And there’s not going to be a “Duel Two.” Speaking of being a trucker (yes, I have trucked), the two who spearheaded this so-called shutdown are non-truckers themselves. Surprise!

  • USMC 69-75

    Do nothing, and nothing gets done, except the continuance of tyranny, and government abuse!

  • USMC 69-75

    Did a lot of good at first, but like anything the government gets involved in, it turns to control and over government regulated. Control the people….this is a free country and we need to take it back. You can’t do that, lying under the porch whining!

  • steve

    shippers and brokers are taking alot of truckers out. I say shut her down. our truck will not be rollin. Its time to earn what we deserve. Brokers are paying as little as $300 to go over 2000 miles. To take that is an insult to the trucking industry. DRIVERS take no more insults!!!!! I had one broker last year tell me truckers had the season the year before. now it was the brokers season. Drivers dont work for fuel , if you get that and move this freight for free.We have to stop and take action!

  • USMC 69-75

    Not if your E-log tell you to stop… having big brother BABY sitting you? I have had my own authority for over 20 years, bet you bippy I’m shutting down and my truck O/O’s included. If they want to run, go someplace else. I don’t deal with bottom feeders!
    Enjoy using that DEP for that overly choked engine that is nothing more than another government joke of a regulation. EPA my arsh! You are what you are!

  • USMC 69-75

    So keep your head in the sand and the Vaseline handy, can’t can’t do anything nor his brother won’t…..except complain about the B/S. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.